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Replacing words with preg_replace?

Posted on 2009-06-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I am trying to figure out a way to replace the following arrays with the ones below.  The reason I don't use str_replace is because when I have similar words together it breaks them, for example "ana" would get replaced in "ananda", even though I just wanted the word "ana" not to interfiere with the other.

Some of my words that i wan't replace also have apostrophe's, so how would I take care of that?
<?php
 
$find = array(
    'Jim',
    'John',
    'Kevin Smith',
    "Sarah's Store",
    "Jim's Store"
);
$replace = array(
    'cake',
    'james',
    'bill',
    "Bob's Auto"
    "Jen's Auto"  
);
 
?>

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Question by:Azurewave
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 24737657
Are all the words you want to replace bounded by whitespace on both sides?
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Author Comment

by:Azurewave
ID: 24737782
They would be


The story is about Amy and something else.


In that sentence I would be trying to replace Amy.
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Accepted Solution

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Ray Paseur earned 500 total points
ID: 24738349
You can use a regular expression to handle this.  I am rarely 100% certain of all the REGEX syntax, but this works and will get you pointed in the right direction.  

Man Page Here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_expression

BTW, there is a "Regular Expressions" Zone here at EE.

Best regards, ~Ray
<?php // RAY_temp_regex2.php
error_reporting(E_ALL);
echo "<pre>\n";
 
$find_and_replace = array(
    'Jim'           => 'cake',
    'John'          => 'james',
    'Kevin Smith'   => 'bill',
    "Sarah's Store" => "Bob's Auto",
    "Jim's Store"   => "Jen's Auto"
   );
 
$text = "Jim and John were on their way to meet Kevin Smith at Sarah's Store.";
 
// PAD TEXT WITH BLANKS
$new_text = ' ' . $text . ' ';
 
// ITERATE OVER THE FIND AND REPLACE ARRAY
foreach ($find_and_replace as $find => $replace)
{
// CONSTRUCT A REGEX
    $regex = '';
    $regex .= '/(\s+)';          // STARTS WITH WHITESPACE CHARACTER(S)
    $regex .= '(' . $find . ')'; // THE THING WE WANT TO FIND
    $regex .= '(\s+|[^\w]+)/';   // ENDS WITH WHITESPACE OR NON-WORD CHARACTER(S)
 
// EXECUTE THE REGEX-CONTROLLED REPLACEMENT
    $new_text = preg_replace($regex, "$1$replace$3", $new_text);
 
// WATCH THE PROGRESS FOR EACH REPLACEMENT
    var_dump($find);
    var_dump($replace);
    var_dump($regex);
    var_dump($new_text);
    echo "\n\n";
}
 
// REMOVE THE PADDING
$new_text = trim($new_text);
var_dump($new_text);
?>

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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 25453534
Thanks for the points, ~Ray
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